Lando Norris, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2020

Norris says “worst start ever”, not pit stops, spoiled race

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lando Norris said his poor start to the Hungarian Grand Prix was the main cause of his first point-less finish of the year, not the amount of time he lost in the pits.

The McLaren driver started eighth but fell five places on the first lap. He lost further ground when he made his first pit stop, falling to 18th, and took the chequered the flag in 13th place.

“The team did a good job,” said Norris. “Maybe the pit stops weren’t amazing but they didn’t cost me anything. I think I was the one who let down the team in terms of probably getting the worst start I’ve ever got in my life.

“I just screwed everything up and it’s such a difficult track to overtake on. I couldn’t do anything more after that. I tried coming back, but 13th was the best I could do.”

Norris finished the first two races in the top five but does not believe a similar result was possible at the Hungaroring, where team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr finished ninth.

“If I look at the big picture, I think they’ve been still a very positive three weeks. The things I really wanted to improve on as a driver, I’ve done much better at.

“But I’m still not the driver I need to be. I still made the mistake today, which probably didn’t cost me a huge amount of points, I would have been probably where Carlos was maybe score one or two [points] at most.

“So it’s not the end of the world but I think in the long run you want to be scoring whenever you have the opportunity to. And I think today we did have the opportunity to get those one or two [points], which could prove quite costly come the end of the season. So it’s just probably the finer details.

“The first two races were perfect. This one was the first one I made a proper mistake on and a big error. So yeah, I just don’t work on those things. We’ll review everything from the past three weeks and try and do a better job in Silverstone.”

Despite failing to add to his points tally in Hungary, Norris remains fourth in the drivers’ championship.

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7 comments on “Norris says “worst start ever”, not pit stops, spoiled race”

  1. Norris wasn’t the only one who got a bad start everyone on the pit lane side had terrible starts compared to grand stand side of track.

    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      20th July 2020, 10:09

      Indeed everyone except Leclerc

      1. Yes, Leclerc got away very well

        1. It’s the boat anchor in the back of the Ferrari. Aids traction in the wet.

    2. @chaitanya
      A chain-reaction caused by Bottas I suppose, LOL.

  2. Norris made a 2019 start, He needs to stop having bad starts. The race could have benefitted with a bit more Lando. Vettel also had an awful pit stop and let Albon past twice, still had an okay result.

  3. I have an opinion
    20th July 2020, 11:43

    Norris’ assessment is correct. There are several mid-field teams that are so close on race pace that grid position and progress in the opening laps are crucial to finishing position (in an otherwise “normal” race where safety cars and opportune pitstops play no part). Presently, the teams in this tight midfield are McLaren, Ferrari and Renault, with Albon and Racing Point slightly ahead.

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